Football Notebook: What Are The Best New England D3 Football Rivalries?

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By Matt Noonan | @MattNoonan11

What are some of the best New England D3 Football rivalries?

That is a tough one, eh?

You know the list includes a fair number of contests, including Amherst-Williams to Framingham State-Bridgewater State to Endicott-WNE.

But are there others? Of course!

Here are some of my favorite New England D3 Football rivalries (below!) – let me know what you think of my list by sending either a tweet to @MattNoonan11 or an email to MattNoonan@NoontimeSports.com.


Amherst vs. Williams: This has to be atop the list, right? This is one of the games to circle, no matter each team’s record. Last season, we saw the Ephs score an exciting win in overtime, thanks to an 11-yard burst by quarterback Bobby Maimaron. Amherst forced the extra session midway through the fourth quarter by scoring a pair of touchdowns in a span of 25 seconds. Both teams enjoyed successful 2017 campaigns, which means this year’s game in Amherst will be one to follow.

Framingham State vs. Endicott: This game has always been my welcome back to college football contest. Sure, they’re two different teams that are headed in different directions at the moment, but you know this is a game both players circle when schedules are released. Framingham State has dominated the series most recently, but this year could be different with Paul McGonagle pacing the Endicott sidelines.

Framingham State vs. Bridgewater State: This is has always been a go-to game in the MASCAC. A lot of the players on both rosters played either with or against each other in high school. So there is some bragging rights on the line. Bridgewater State needed some late heroics in 2016 to beat Framingham State – the win provided the Bears with the conference crown, along with an automatic invite into the NCAA Tournament. Last season, Jaquan Harris clinched the victory for the Rams with a late fourth quarter interception. Framingham State escaped Bridgewater with a six-point (19-13) win.

MIT-WPI: This has become a classic NEWMAC matchup – crazy to think it is a young rivalry, but it keeps getting better every season. Last fall, WPI managed to recover a crucial onside kick with with 20 seconds remaining to secure a 24-21 win over MIT. In 2016, Blaine Bursey kicked a 19-yard game-winning field goal in overtime to send WPI past the Engineers of MIT, 37-34. Bursey was also the difference in 2015 when the two teams met in Worcester as he booted a 26-yard field goal midway through the fourth to provide WPI with a 31-28 win.

Springfield-Western New England: Who will win this year’s Pynchon SAW? Springfield captured it last season, downing Western New England, 35-21. Perhaps this year’s game will be different – it is scheduled for Friday evening of Labor Day Weekend. Both programs are expected to be in the hunt for their respective conference crowns, so this is a great way to begin a new campaign with a solid win against a talented opponent.

Trinity vs. Wesleyan: It’s the battle of Connecticut! These two teams will once again be in the mix for a NESCAC crown this fall, so you know how important this game is, especially since it is the final contest for both squads. Trinity scored a convincing 28-3 victory last fall, so you have to wonder how the Cardinals of Wesleyan will respond this November.


Other Rivalries to Watch in New England D3 Football 

  • Salve Regina-Western New England: This game has often decided the conference championship.
  • Husson-Western New England: The Eagles of Husson proved they are a team to keep an eye on in New England last year with an impressive win over Springfield. These two teams met last year with WNE winning the game by a touchdown (21-14)
  • Becker-Nichols: If you’re looking for another ‘battle of Worcester’ then look no further than Becker-Nichols.
  • Bates-Bowdoin, Bates-Colby & Bowdoin-Colby (CBB Trophy): Bates captured last season’s CBB (Colby, Bates & Bowdoin) trophy with victories over Bowdoin and Colby. Can they do it against this fall?
  • Castleton-Norwich: It’s the battle for the Sap Bucket! Castleton won it last season, so can Norwich win it this year?
  • Coast Guard-Merchant Marine: This game was on ESPN last year and will continue to be a game to circle with both teams playing in the NEWMAC.
  • Fitchburg State-Worcester State: Looking for another Worcester rivalry? Then look no further than Falcons-Lancers.

Stay connected with our Noontime Sports Football coverage on Twitter by following @Noontime_FB

New England Football: Players To Watch In 2018 Coming Soon!

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By Noontime Sports | @NoontimeSports 

It maybe early July, but that doesn’t mean we can’t think about football, right?

As we inch closer toward a brand new season of New England college football, Noontime Sports will begin to generate a list of players and teams to watch for the upcoming season, as well as our first of many Top 10 polls, too (our first poll will be a preseason poll, which will be posted later next month).

So, consider this an early plug for our 2018 preseason football coverage – yes, we are eager for football to return, but are enjoying some down time before camps and games officially commence.

If you do crave some football then make sure to check out our Football Friday Podcast – we do have a few new podcast interviews, including a recent conversation with the new Bates College coach Malik Hall and Western New England‘s Jason Lebeau.

Additionally, you can click FOLLOW to our new football Twitter handle, as well: @Noontime_FB. Trust us, you will want to follow this handle as we inch closer to football season – we will be producing some fun content that you won’t want to miss.

Our preseason football coverage will officially begin in a few weeks, but in the meantime, enjoy these long, summer days – the weather is pretty nice today in Boston!

D3 Lacrosse: Final Noontime Top 10 Men’s Lax Poll (Wednesday, May 30th)

NS LAX TOP 10 POLL

By NoontimeSports.com (@NoontimeSports) 

The 2018 NCAA Division 3 Men’s Lacrosse season officially concluded this past weekend with Wesleyan University winning its first-ever national title with an 8-6 win over Salisbury University at Gillette Stadium.

With the two-goal win, the Cardinals secured the top spot in our final Noontime Sports New England D3 Men’s Lacrosse Top 10 Poll. Wesleyan began the season as a top team in our poll, but was forced to share the top position with New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) foes Amherst College and Tufts University. The Jumbos secured the second position in our final poll, while the Mammoths slid into the third spot.

Springfield College, which captured this year’s New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) crown, checked-in fourth overall, while Williams College rounded out the top five, checking-in fifth overall.

Conn. College and Coast Guard Academy – two teams we watched more closely this season – secured the sixth and sevenths positions, respectively. We expect both teams to be back in the mix next spring, despite some key graduation departures.

As always, you can stay connected with @Noontime_Lax on Twitter for lacrosse news, notes, scores and more!

Men’s D3 New England Top 10 Poll | Weds. May 30th, 2018 

1. Wesleyan University 

19-3, 10-1 NESCAC

2. Tufts University 

18-2, 9-1 NESCAC

3. Amherst College 

15-4, 9-1 NESCAC

4. Springfield College 

13-6, 6-1 NEWMAC 
5. Williams College 

9-8, 6-4 NESCAC

6. Conn. College 

10-6, 5-5 NESCAC

7. Coast Guard Academy 

14-4, 6-1 NEWMAC

8. Middlebury College 

9-7, 5-5 NESCAC

9. Bowdoin College 

8-7, 4-6 NESCAC

10.   Western New England 

13-7, 8-0 CCC

ON THE RISE: Babson College (9-7, 6-1 NEWMAC), Bates College (8-8, 4-6 NESCAC), Johnson & Wales (9-12, 5-4 GNAC), Keene State (12-5, 7-0 LEC) and New England College (16-5, 7-0 NAC)

D3 Football: Lebeau Elevated To Head Coach At WNE

WNE_Circle_logo_small_400x400By Matt Noonan (@MattNoonan11) 

It was announced yesterday – Wednesday, May 8th, to be exact – that Jason Lebeau has been elevated to the head coaching position of the Western New England football team.

Lebeau, who has spent the past six seasons as the squad’s offensive coordinator, takes over for Keith Emery, who is stepping aside to relocate with his family. Emery will remain involved with the team as a in an advisory capacity, per Wednesday’s release.

“It is with great pride and enthusiasm that I accept the tremendous opportunity to lead the Western New England Football program,” Lebeau said in the Wednesday release. “It is my honor and privilege to lead a team of student-athletes that remind me of my “why” each and every day while working for an academic institution committed to success both on and off the field.”

Lebeau, who has spent the past eight seasons with the Golden Bears football program, was a three-year starter for the team on the o-line – he also earned the squad’s MVP honor his senior season before graduating in 2010. He would continue his education at WNE, earning his MBA in coaching six years later.

Under Lebeau’s direction, WNE’s offense has been tough to stop – the unit concluded its 2017 campaign second in the Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) in points (30.8) and yards (395.5) per game. The Golden Bears registered 300 or more yards in 10 of 11 contests last season, while tallying a season-best 534 yards in a 42-28 win over Curry College. The win over the Colonels helped the Golden Bears capture the inaugural CCC crown.

WNE concluded its 2017 season 8-3 overall, including 5-0 in conference play. The Golden Bears kick-off their 2018 season on Friday, August 31st when they visit Springfield College at 7 p.m.

D3 Football: WNE Unveils Its 2018 Schedule

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Western New England unveiled its 2018 schedule. (PHOTO CREDIT: Rachael Margossian | WNE Athletics)

By Matt Noonan (@MattNoonan11)

The Western New England Golden Bears recently unveiled its 2018 schedule, which includes five home dates, as well as their annual rivalry game with Springfield College.

WNE will visit the Pride in week one on Friday, August 31st with kickoff scheduled for 7 p.m. Last season, the Pride defeated the Golden Bears in the Fifth Annual Pynchon Saw Game. Quarterback Anthony Service concluded the contest with 235 passing yards – he also rushed for a team-high 49 yards.

The Golden Bears will host their initial home game of the 2018 season one week later when they entertain Westfield State on Saturday, September 8 before making the trek to Husson University on Saturday, September 15th. The Eagles lost to the Golden Bears last season by a touchdown, but did lead at the break by two scores (14-0). Husson was the lone New England squad to advance to the second round of the 2017 NCAA Division III Tournament last fall.

WNE will close out the month of September with back-to-back games against Anna Maria College and Salve Regina.

The Golden Bears will compete in a trio of conference contests in October, including a pair of home games against Curry College and University of New England before closing out its regular season slate with games against Endicott College and Becker College in November.

WNE concluded its 2017 campaign 8-3 overall and 5-0 in the Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC). The Golden Bears captured the inaugural CCC title with back-to-back wins over Curry and Salve Regina to secure the crown before advancing to the opening round of the NCAA Tournament against Delaware Valley.